IRRAD building, Gurgaon
Set up by rural development NGO SM Sehgal Foundation, the Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD) building in Gurgaon is a model of energy efficiency. It is also the recipient of the highest platinum certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards set by the US Green Building Council.
On its roof are thousands of photovoltaic cells, which generate 35KW of power daily and enough to run all its gadgets except the air-conditioning plant. "It is insulated from the external environment. So, we need to run the cooling plant for just two hours in the morning and two hours post lunch. Internal courtyards provide daylight and ventilation, reducing the need for artificial lights and mechanical ventilation," said Ramesh Kapahi, Director, Finance & Administration, IRRAD.
The shading devices on the building's outer façade are designed to correspond with the movement of the sun. That way, it keeps the summer sun out and the winter sun in.
Its windows are double glazed to reduce transmission of heat. The building's roof is heat reflective and it has used renewable rubber wood and bamboo instead of aluminium in AC vents and window pane frames.
Other prominent green features include a seven-lakh-litre underground rainwater harvesting storage tank, recycling of grey and black water, groundwater recharging, use of in-situ bricks and low-maintenance exteriors.